"Winter Kaleidoscope" - Ice Patterns with Reflected Sunset Light

Forget about "Snowzilla", I was more excited for the single digit lows a few days before the big storm hit us. I ended up exploring two new locations, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Rock Creek Park, in search of exciting ice patterns. I don't know how, but every year I stay jazzed up about Capturing new images of ice. It's a bit like a treasure hunt, you never know what you're going to find. 

"Winter Kaleidoscope" - Ice Patterns with Reflected Sunset Light, Rock Creek Park, Washington D.C.

About the Image: I've photographed this particular flavor of ice a few times before. Always from above. Always in shadow. The shapes are cool enough, and make for a decent image of repeating triangles. I strive to move forward creatively, though, and photographing these patterns from the top in flat light just wasn't cutting it. As I moved around the scene photographing other bits of ice, I noticed that the warm light of sunset on a distant hillside was casting some lovely, lively, light onto the ice. Especially so when I placed the camera very low to pick up the reflections. It looked beautiful to my eye, but how could I record this with my camera and keep the depth of field large enough to render the entire scene in focus from such a sharp angle? Not even f/32 resulted in a sharp image, so I decided to do a focus blend. With my lens at f/11, I changed focus slightly over the course of 8 images, from front to back. Later, I utilized Photoshop's focus stacking tool to piece them together into one sharp, perfectly focused frame.

Techs: Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 + 500D Closeup Filter. 0.3 seconds, f/11, ISO 100. Focus Blend. Tripod.